Recreational Cannabis Information

Background

On June 25, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) which legalizes the sale, possession, and use of cannabis for recreational purposes in limited quantities by persons 21 years and older, beginning January 1, 2020.

As with medical cannabis, the Recreational Cannabis Act provides a limited number of licenses that the State will issue for cultivation centers and dispensaries. It is anticipated that the majority of the existing 55 medical cannabis facilities in the state will apply for “early approval” licenses to allow those dispensaries to serve both medical and recreational cannabis markets starting January 1, 2020. In State Police District 34 (DuPage County), there are currently three licensed medical dispensaries, one in Naperville and two in Addison. In addition to the one recreational license that will be available for existing medical cannabis distributers to have at their existing location, those business owners may apply also for a “secondary site” license which could be offsite elsewhere in the region. If allowed, one of these secondary sites may choose to locate in Glen Ellyn and could potentially start operation as early as January 1, 2020. After that, the State will issue licenses on a staggered basis through 2022. Municipalities may regulate or ban cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction but have no control over the licensing process.

The Village of Glen Ellyn may prohibit or significantly limit the location of recreational cannabis businesses by ordinance. The Recreational Cannabis Act itself prohibits a new cannabis dispensary from locating within 1,500 feet of another dispensary. If the Village chooses to permit recreational cannabis dispensaries within its borders, then it may designate the zoning districts within which cannabis businesses may be allowed as a permitted or special use and enact reasonable zoning regulations such as standards for off-street parking, signs, separation from residential or other sensitive uses, and hours of operation, among other things. In addition, the Act gives the Village the ability to decide if they wish to allow other kinds of cannabis businesses (cultivation, distribution centers, etc.) and if the use of cannabis will be allowed at the dispensary (such as a smoking lounge).

The Recreational Cannabis Act sets tax rates on both wholesale transactions by cultivators and retail sales by dispensaries. It also authorizes counties and municipalities to impose local taxes on retail sales including an optional tax up to 3%.

Village staff believe the public should have abundant opportunity for comment and access to information. To this end, a separate webpage was created on the Village website offering information about the CRTA and how it affects the Village. The webpage also provides a form by which the public can submit comments and concerns. A link to this webpage was provided in the Village e-newsletter and distributed on the Village’s social media pages. Village staff will also use these channels to promote the meetings in which the Village’s approach to recreational cannabis will be discussed. 

Process

The Village Board will begin consideration of this issue at a workshop on August 19. The below schedule is a tentative outline of upcoming meetings, open to the public, regarding this topic. Ultimately, the Village Board will need to adopt an ordinance addressing whether to allow or prohibit the sale of recreational cannabis within the Village.

The Act allows local municipalities to adopt an additional local tax up to 3% on the sale of recreational cannabis. If the Village is to move forward with imposing such a tax it would be appropriate to adopt that ordinance by October 1, 2019 so it could possibly be effective as of January 1, 2020 (if allowed by State Statute). Therefore, the Village is tentatively scheduling this topic for Village Board consideration no later than October 2019.

Meeting Schedule (subject to change)

  • Monday, August 19, 7 p.m.: Special Village Board Workshop - Discussion only, no vote will be taken.
  • Monday, September 9, 7 p.m.: Village Board Meeting - Continued consideration, no vote will be taken.
  • Thursday, October 10, 7 p.m.: Formal Public Hearing at Village Plan Commission Meeting.
  • By end of October: Date yet to be determined. Returns to Village Board Meeting for final vote. 

Informational Documents

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